States Support Measures for Death Penalty

In Tuesday’s election, several states saw death penalty measures on the ballot.

California voters faced two capital punishment measures: one to repeal the death penalty and one that would have expedited it. Proposition 62, which would have repealed the death penalty, received 46 percent of the vote and was defeated. Proposition 66, which speeds up executions and expands the pool of lawyers to take on death cases, passed with a vote of 50.9 percent support.

In Nebraska, voters overwhelmingly approved a measure that repealed a 2015 law passed by the legislature that ended the death penalty and replaced it with life without parole. The measure passed with 66 percent of the vote.

In Oklahoma, voters gave 66 percent approval to a measure to protect the use of capital punishment in the state constitution, unless the practice is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.

Despite approval of these measures supporting capital punishment, the national number of executions and new death sentences are at historic lows.